We are well aware of the impact on your life when buying in Spain for the first time. We are here to help ensure that buying in Spain is a life-enhancing one, by making the process itself as smooth as possible.
The procedures for buying in Spain are different from those in your country. Wise people chose the comfort of having your own experienced professionals looking after their interests and therefore their investments, throughout the purchase and legal procedures.
When you have found your ideal property, a Purchase Contract (called a Contrato de Compra-Venta in Spanish) is made between you, as the purchaser, and the builder. At the same time you will pay a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the purchase price (or a reservation payment of €3,000 and the balance within 7 days). This secures your property, it is removed from the market and your purchase price in Euros is fixed. The terms and conditions of the remaining stage payments will be written into the Purchase Contract, along with any other relevant details of the transaction.
New properties bought “off-plan” are normally completed within 12-18 months. There is usually a shorter delivery time for a property already under construction. The legal construction process is that architects plans are submitted to the relevant Town Hall, a building permit is then granted, whereupon building commences under the supervision of a surveyor (Arquitecto Tecnico).
During the early stages of construction you can usually discuss and request minor changes to the plan of your property – these must be agreed with the builder, must be in writing and may incur extra costs.
When buying in Spain, under Spanish law, all new homes carry a 10 year Structural Guarantee (with the developer and the architect being legally responsible if any structural defects arise).
Payment for a new property is made in stages as the construction process develops and these stages will be detailed in the Purchase Contract. When buying in Spain, all stage payments are normally made directly to the Property Developer who will issue you with a receipt and forward the funds to the builder. Generally speaking, a typical payment schedule would be as follows:
– €3,000…………………. on signing the contract
– Rest of 10% ……….. within 1 week
– 40%……………….. 1 month later
– 25%……………….. 6 months before completion
– 25%……………….. on completion
Title Deeds – taking possession
When your property is completed and ready for you to take possession, you will normally attend the office of a Public Notary where the official Title Deed (Escritura Publica de Compra-Venta) is signed by both parties (you and the builder). This Escritura is a formal, public version of the private contract you signed originally and contains the same relevant details. You are given a notarised copy of your Title Deed (called a Copia Simple) while the original is sent for entry in the Land Registry. Once registered, the original document is returned to you.
Purchase Expenses – Taxes and Fees
The purchase taxes and fees will amount to approximately 10% – 13% (incl. VAT, Stamp Duty, registration fees etc.) of the value of your property.
The Notary Public
When buying in Spain, the Notary ensures that the seller is legally entitled to sell, that any relevant taxes are paid, that the title of the property is correctly transferred to the name of the purchaser, and that the new ownership is registered in the Land Registry Office.
The Land Registry Office
This is the public records office where all property Title Deeds (Escrituras) are both registered and available for inspection. The land Registry entry will list not only the ownership of the property, but also any outstanding charges (encumbrances) which may be lodged against it.